For most blossoming writers, this year, like most others, signifies another opportunity to plan, develop and improve their works in progress. But for a special group of wordsmiths, one month in particular stands out as the time to put in some serious shifts at the keyboard.
That’s right. After last year’s successes and rave reviews, Karen Dionne, Christopher Graham and a remarkable faculty are returning to Salt Cay – better known as Blue Lagoon Island – for the second annual Salt Cay Writers Retreat.
Dionne is the internationally published author of the science thrillers, “Freezing Point” and “Boiling Point” (Berkley). Graham works closely with International Thriller Writers as a website administrator. He designs websites for authors and has written for a variety of newspapers; his fiction has appeared in BluePrintReview. Dionne and Graham are the co-founders of the online writers community, Backspace.
The 2014 retreat is scheduled for October 20-26, and, though there’s still some time to go, the Blue Lagoon and Dolphin Encounters teams are planning ahead, doing their best to make sure this year’s registrants get the most out of their days at the lagoon.
They’re not the only ones making the effort. Dionne and Graham have been planning their return since last October.
“When the opportunity first came up to hold a week-long writers retreat on Blue Lagoon Island we knew that the combination of top-notch faculty, students eager to learn and a gorgeous, inspiring setting was going to be something special,” said Dionne. “So, we always intended to make the retreat an annual event.
Like last year, the 2014 retreat offers registrants the chance to learn from some of the best in the business. While several of the 2013 faculty members will be returning – including Robert Goolrick, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Jeff Kleinman and Erin Harris – this year promises quite a few new and knowledgeable faces, featuring some of the industry’s most renowned authors, agents and editors.
This October also offers a slightly different schedule, based on feedback from the 2013 retreat; the program has been shortened from six days of instruction to five, in order to give students – most of whom journey from the U.S. and Canada – more time to travel. The structure will remain largely the same: each morning, the retreat will begin with a small-group workshop or one-on-one instruction with faculty members; during the afternoons, registrants will be free to explore the island or take advantage of free writing time.
Local authors will, like last year, have the option for joining the retreat for the full six days or for a special one-day program. This year, the one-day program will be held on a Saturday, to give Bahamians with full-time jobs the chance to join on the weekend.
The retreat’s effectiveness has spoken for itself. Since last October, two authors have signed with literary agents and a third is awaiting the first sales of her novel.
Robert Meister, managing director of Dolphin Encounters, has said how pleased he is to host the retreat again.
“Last year, we were honored that Karen Dionne and Christopher Graham chose to host a retreat at Blue Lagoon Island. The retreat attendees had an inspiring and productive time,” he said. “Now, we have the pleasure of hosting the group, again, and we’re looking forward to seeing familiar faces and meeting some new ones. Blue Lagoon Island (Salt Cay) has long been a haven for writers throughout its history, we are proud to continue this tradition.”
Registrants can sign up via the Salt Cay Writers Retreat website until October 1, 2014.